Me and my fellow parents of children with Down syndrome are writing the producers of the Oprah Show in order to encourage them to create a show devoted to Down syndrome. A few parents have written in the past and not heard a response. Now we are banding together to make this happen.
Here is the letter I sent...
Dear Oprah Show,
My fellow parents of children with Down syndrome and I are banding together to educate the public about Down syndrome. We would love if you would help us in this effort by devoting a show to our cause. Did you know the abortion rate for babies diagnosed with Down syndrome prenatally is a staggering 97%?!?!?! It makes me physically sick to think about this statistic. You see my first baby was stillborn at only 28 weeks gestation. I later found out it was due to an underlying blood clotting disorder, I wasn't aware I had. When I got pregnant again 8 months later, I was overjoyed. At my 19 week ultrasound I found out my daughter had a heart defect (AVSD). It is very common in babies with Down syndrome. We were told our baby had a 60 - 70% chance that our baby had the genetic condition. The only way to know for sure was to have additional invasive testing. My husband and I immediately declined the testing. If she had Down syndrome that was fine with us, she was our baby. Meanwhile, we decided to educate ourselves about Down syndrome in the event our daughter had this condition. We learned a lot, and when our daughter Caydence was born in June of 2009 and we found out she did have Down syndrome, we were prepared. It seriously didn't phase us; after losing our first daughter, we realize how precious life is and we were just so happy to have her with us. Sadly, many women who find out their child has Down syndrome are devastated and often go through a mourning period. The social stigma of Down syndrome is deeply rooted in our society. Now, as parent of a child with Down syndrome, I want to devote my life to changing this social stigma.
If you would like to help us in our effort, please submit your letter at: Oprah Show Submission Site